|Home Office Agrees to Review Asylum Claims of Child Refugees in France
The Home Office has agreed to review asylum applications from child refugees in France after it emerged that several had returned to the site of the former Calais camp in a renewed effort to make the crossing to the UK. One teenager who arrived in London this weekend after hiding beneath a coach at the port told the Guardian that increasing numbers of children in French reception centres had lost hope of travelling to the UK by official means and were returning to the notorious site. Responding to questions about his case, and after calls from Theresa May to assess the number of children returning to the site of the camp, the Home Office said it had agreed with French authorities to “review any new information from children formerly resident in Calais”.
Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian, http://tiny.cc/0mvcjy
EU Citizens 'Denied Residence Documents'
EU citizens living in the UK say they are being denied a guarantee of permanent residency because they do not have health insurance. A little-known rule requires EU citizens not in work or looking for work to buy comprehensive insurance. One man told the Today programme that his application was rejected, despite living in the UK since the age of 13. Peers are now trying to change the law. The Home Office said securing the status of EU migrants was a priority. Since the referendum in June, many EU citizens have applied for documents guaranteeing the right to live permanently in the UK. But the documents can only be obtained by migrants who have consistently either worked, sought work, or bought the insurance for five years. The Home Office does not remove people for failing to buy insurance, but will not issue them with the guarantee of permanent residence. As EU migrants can use the NHS, many did not realise they needed health insurance.
Read more: Ross Hawkins, BBC News, http://tiny.cc/nc1bjy
|SSHD’s Appeal Against Decision Not to Deport a "Foreign Criminal" - Dismissed
Quarey, R (on the application of) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 47 (08 February 2017)
This is an appeal from the decision of the Upper Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber, made on 1 October 2014. The Upper Tribunal "reluctantly" dismissed the Secretary of State's appeal from the decision of the First Tier Tribunal made on 29 October 2013. The appeal proceeds by way of permission of McFarlane LJ, given on 21 January 2016. The Respondent is a "foreign criminal" within the meaning of United Kingdom Borders Act 2007. The Grounds of Appeal by the Secretary of State are firstly that when assessing whether deportation was proportionate under Article 8 of the European Convention, the FTT failed to have regard to the Parliamentary source and the nature of the State's policy in favour of deportation, and secondly that the FTT failed to "engage meaningfully" with the threefold criteria, or facets of public interest, in deportation set out in authority, namely the risk of re-offending, the need for deterrence and public revulsion in relation to serious criminal activity. For those reasons, it is said the Upper Tribunal should have allowed the appeal.
These proceedings have taken too long. The FTT hearing was on 24 March 2014 and the Tribunal's decision was promulgated on 9 April. The Upper Tier Tribunal sat on 22 September and promulgated their determination on 1 October 2014. Thus far, the matter proceeded with reasonable speed. However, there was some delay before the Secretary of State sought to appeal the decision. A re-sealed and amended Appellant's Notice and Grounds was filed and served in February 2015. Permission was refused by Sullivan LJ on 10 April 2015. Following a fire affecting the Appellant's office, it was 10 June 2015 before a renewal application was filed. Permission to appeal and an extension of time was granted by MacFarlane LJ on 21 January 2016. A hearing date was set in late July but the Secretary of State applied to vacate the date and adjourn the hearing, an application then supported by the Respondent. It is by that route that the appeal comes to be heard two years and ten months after the FTT decision, and yet based on evidence from that time.
36. Neither the expression of their judgment by the FTT nor the review by an appellate court must be permitted to become a mere "tick-box" exercise. As Elias LJ observed in AM v SSHD, the decision of a tribunal is not to be flawed because when giving their reasons, the tribunal fails to repeat "mantra fashion" the separate identified ingredients of the public interest in deporting foreign criminals, or for that matter, fail to recite expressly the statutory origin of the policy of deportation, and that the statutory origin means that the policy is that of Parliament, not "merely" that of the Secretary of State. Nor is there an obligation on a Tribunal to recite all of the key passages from authority. In the end, with respect to him, it appeared to me that Mr Gullick would have been satisfied with nothing less than such an anxious parade of learning. That is in the end an unhelpful approach. The matter is one of substance, not appearance.
37. The approach has now been clearly set out by Lord Thomas in the passage in Hesham Ali cited above and I need not repeat it. I add only this: it will be wise for a tribunal, in a suitable case, to set out in their balancing exercise the degree of weight they ascribe to the various factors which arise, on the evidence, both for and against deportation. The decision must be transparent and clearly understood.
38. I turn to the substance here. It appears to me that the FTT were alive to the proper considerations. They referred directly to the statutory basis of the obligation on the Secretary of State to deport. They can be taken to understand that the statute, and thus the obligation, carry the authority of Parliament. They cited the critical passages from MF (Nigeria) set out above, which spell out the point that such a one as this Respondent will only succeed in avoiding deportation "exceptionally", meaning where there exist "very compelling reasons". The FTT here also had well in mind the terms of the relevant decision by the Appellant. They had a clear view of the facts and the family circumstances. In considering the nature of the public interest in deportation as it affects this case, they made clear that the low risk of future offending was not the only matter of public interest, noting the passage from Judge LJ in N (Kenya) cited above, and emphasising the need for deterrence of others. On that basis they reached their conclusion.
39. In my judgment, the FTT directed themselves to the proper considerations of law. For those reasons, I would dismiss the appeal.
Lord Justice Briggs:
40. I agree. In this case the FTT chose to demonstrate that it understood the relevant legal considerations by a careful and extended citation from the key paragraphs of the relevant authorities, rather than by seeking to summarise them in their own words, or by setting then out again when applying those considerations to the facts as found. Reading the judgment of the FTT as a whole, I consider it to be reasonably clear that those were the considerations applied during the carrying out of the balancing exercise called for by the Article 8 appeal in this case. The UT was therefore correct to conclude that the FTT's decision was not vitiated by any error of law.
Lord Justice Jackson:
41. I also agree.
Published on Bailii, 08/02/2017